To increase the visibility of yam and promote the current research and development achievements of the Yam Improvement for Income and Food Security in West Africa (YIIFSWA-II) at national policy level in Nigeria, the project yam advocates and champions affiliated participated together with other project members in the 43rd National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development (NCARD) meeting held at the International Conference Centre (ICC) Umuahia, Abia state from 23rd to 25 April 2019.
The purpose of the meeting is to articulate and provide policy direction that would improve enabling environment for investors in agriculture sector and strengthen the development of the sector to ensure food security, diversification of the economy, employment generation and sustain livelihood in the country.
The IITA/YIIFSWA-II yam champions Mrs. Perpetua Iyere-Usiahon, Yam Desk Officer of FMARD and Prof. Malachy Akoroda, and Mr. Ebiarede Zidafamor presented papers during the plenary session. At the meeting a total of 151 papers including 2 YIIFSWA-II papers were considered out of the 212 papers presented at the technical session for ratification. The YIIFSWA-II papers were ratified as a national policy for implementation in Nigeria. One of the YIIFSWA-II papers ratified was the NASC Memo on, “REGULARIZATION OF HRPT FACILITIES FOR SEED/PLANTING MATERIALS PRODUCTION”. By this policy approval, strategies for accreditation of Conventional Tissue Culture (CTC) laboratory, Temporary Immersion Bioreactors System (TIBS), Aeroponics System (AS) and other High Ratio Propagation Technologies (HRPT) facilities to mainstream them into the national seed system as credible sources of yam planting materials production that could be evolved to commence registration of these facilities under the YIIFSWA-II Project.
It was estimated that over 1,000 participants attended the meeting at the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Umuahia, Abia state. They consisted of all the state commissioners of Agriculture, Federal and state civil servants, Scientists, Agricultural provosts and lecturers, students, agribusiness representatives, farmers private seed producers etc..
The project’s booth attracted a lot of participants who congratulated the project for its efforts in developing the seed yam production system in Nigeria. And most of the visitors wanted to buy seed tubers to evaluate in the fields. One of such participant was Veterinary Doctor, Dr Mustapha A. Leidam, from Yobe state who indicated that last year he planted yams in Yobe state, using irrigation and interacted with the project’s seed delivery officer Mr Oyeyemi Azeez on good agronomic practices for ware yam production. He stated that ‘the project’s developments were impressive, and will follow up on project activities to learn more about yam.’